|Administrative History||David Skene was baptised on 13 August 1731, the son of Andrew Skene and Margaret, daughter of David Lumsden of Cushnie. His family owned the mansion house of Pitmuxton in Aberdeen and Skene was one of 8 children.|
He attended school in the town and graduated MA from Marischal College in 1748. He continued his education in Edinburgh where he studied under John Rutherford (1695-1779) and Alexander Monro primus (1697-1767) before travelling to London where he trained in midwifery, studying under William Smellie (1697-1763). He completed his education in Paris before returning to Aberdeen.
In 1753 he received the degree of MD from King's College, Aberdeen. He established midwifery training in Aberdeen and went into practice with his father. His practice was extensive and his case notes show that he vaccinated children against smallpox and also experimented with measles vaccinations. He also became the manager of Aberdeen Infirmary.
He was proposed for university chairs at various times in his career- once in Glasgow, once in Aberdeen and once in Edinburgh - despite this he never held a university chair although he was elected Dean of Faculty at Marischal College from 1767 annually until his death three years later.
He was a member of the Gordon's Mill Farming Club; the Edinburgh Philosophical Society, and a founder member of the Aberdeen Philosophical Society. He was a polymath with interests in botany, natural history, philosophy and mineralogy as well as medicine and he corresponded with leading contemporary scholars in these fields.
He died in Aberdeen on 27 December 1770.
|Custodial History||Skene's papers passed to his grand-nephew, Alexander Thomson of Banchory, who transcribed some and had the majority bound in quarter calf volumes. It is believed that he bequeathed the collection to the University Library on his death in 1868. Transcriptions and indexes of some of the papers were compiled at a later date, and these are included in the collection (see Description and Publication Note for further details). |
Several of Thomson's volumes have been disbound since their deposit in the University Library, and are now stored as loose papers or pamphlets.
|Copyright||Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation. Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the University Archivist and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material. |